In three different investigations involving various claimed conspiracies to advance Chinese interests in the United States, the Justice Department has announced charges against 13 people, including suspected Chinese intelligence operatives.
The prosecutions are the most recent illustration of the Justice Department’s efforts to counter what American officials claim is Beijing’s relentless campaign to steal American secrets and technology and surreptitiously advance China’s interests in the country.
Attorney General Merrick Garland stated at a news conference that “as these cases illustrate, the government of China intended to tamper with the rights and freedoms of individuals in the United States and to undermine our court system that defends those rights.” “They were unsuccessful.”
In the Eastern District of New York, a federal court received two of the cases.
In one, two alleged Chinese agents are accused of attempting to hinder a federal investigation against a multinational telecommunications corporation with its headquarters in China.
Although the business is unnamed, the data in the charging sheet is consistent with that of the Chinese electronics firm Huawei, which was charged in New York in 2019.
Guochun He and Zheng Wang, the defendants, are charged with trying to influence a member of a U.S. law enforcement agency to get sensitive information regarding potential witnesses, trial evidence, and new charges that might be made against the company.
According to court documents, the pair thought they had enlisted a member of the American law enforcement community to steal confidential information regarding the investigation. They sent thousands of dollars in Bitcoin payments to the officials.
However, the official was actually working for the FBI as a double agent, disseminating fake information.
Two counts of money laundering and one count of obstructing an official proceeding are brought against Wang and He.
In the other New York case, seven Chinese nationals who were allegedly working with the Chinese government were charged with participating in a years-long alleged campaign of threats and harassment intended to compel a citizen to leave the country and return to China. Two of the people are in American custody.
Garland claimed that the defendants were a part of “Operation Fox Hunt,” an extralegal initiative by the Chinese government that tries to find accused fugitives overseas, including in the United States, and bring them back to China.
Garland claimed that this endeavour, however, frequently targets exiled political dissidents and Beijing detractors.
Four people, including three alleged Chinese intelligence personnel, are accused of plotting to pose as unregistered agents for the Chinese government in the United States in the case that was just unsealed in New Jersey. The defendants are charged with attempting to influence Americans in order to advance China’s objectives.
Garland told reporters, “The Justice Department will not accept attempts by any foreign force to undermine the rule of law that is the cornerstone of our democracy.” “The rights that are granted to everyone in our country will continue to be zealously protected. And we’ll stand up for the legitimacy of our institutions.”
About three months after the Justice Department brought charges regarding a political effort to disseminate Russian propaganda intended to influence U.S. elections, a statement was made. Due to Iran’s efforts to sway the 2020 U.S. presidential election, sanctions were placed on the country by the U.S. late last year.